tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC January 19, 2018 1:00am-2:00am PST
the latest maneuvering to avoid the government shout down as donald trump marks his first anniversary as president. house intel, delays testimony from top trump aid hope hicks in the wake of the bannon stone walling but the russia investigation plows on and new testimony emerged on possible money laundering. and just how strong a campaign surrogate is donald trump? a trial balloon was seen floating near pittsburgh as "the 11th hour" gets underway on a thursday night. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york and just after 11:00 p.m. eastern time, the government will shut down in less than 24 hours unless there is action to stop it on capitol hill. the house did its part passing a measure to keep the government's lights on for another couple weeks. the senate tonight stands in adjournment. later in the broadcast, we'll
look at the chances of them going along with the house. there won't be anything on it tonight. with this deadline looming on this day, 364 of the trump administration, russia remains the biggest thing looming over this trump white house. and tonight, we have more testimony to tell you about from glenn simpson. you recall he's the co-founder of that firm called fusion gps, they are a research and intelligence firm put together the now infamous dossier on president trump and russia. we've seen already some testimony to the senate judiciary released by diane feinstein, quickly earning her the nickname sneaky diane from the president. this is from the house dated november 14 of last year. 165 pages in all and had reporters busy all afternoon and evening. details straight from both mob movies and spy novels dealing
with possible collusion, actual russian gangsters, secret cash, money laundering. to the first thing on that list, there is this question to glenn simpson from republican congressman tom and we quote, do you feel like we got to the point where we could conclusively say as fact that the russian government and trump campaign were colluding with each other to beat hillary clinton? can we make that final step here? simpson answers in part, there is a well-established pattern of contacts that occurred last year that supports the broad allegation of some sort of undisclosed political or financial relationship between the trump organization and people in russia. i'm certainly not prepared to say, and never wanted to be the person who had to determine whether that's a criminal conspiracy. that gets your attention. on to money laundering, the top democrat on the committee adam schiff of california asks this question. did you find evidence of that
with respect to mr. trump? simpson answers, i think a lot of what we found is subsequently there have been similar articles published. evidence i think is a strong word. i think we saw patterns of buying and selling that we thought were suggestive of money laundering. when pressed by schiff that might indicate money laundering mr. simpson says various criminals were buying the properties so there was a gangster, a russian gangster living in trump tower. here is how congressman schiff responded to questions on this network. >> this is is a concern i've had all along that this one area of the invest gages can be the most compromising. when we began this investigation, there were allegations of secret meetings with trump campaign people we now know took place. there were allegations of what general flynn was doing which we now know prove to be true and
persistent allegations of money laundering, which we have really not been allowed to investigate and i think it would be irresponsible not to look into this and find out it's not true, it was highly suggestive or no, there is allegations and the president could be potentially compromised. >> in a few minutes, we'll talk to another member of the house intel committee on this broadcast and there is another update tonight also on the work being done by house intel. the highly-anticipated testimony that was scheduled for tomorrow from long-time trump aid hope hicks has been postponed. reportedly because of those same issues involving executive privilege that derailed steve bannon's testimony to house intel on tuesday of this week. let's turn to our lead off panel, shall we, for a thursday night we're so fortunate to have jonathan swan, national political reporter and jeremy peters, political reporter for "the new york times" and msnbc contributor and watergate special counsel, also an msnbc
legal analyst. terrific group. thank you-all for being with us and jonathan, i'll start with you. how is this fusion gps testimony, which look, this often happens in our business. this is a rolling, breaking story this afternoon as people read this as we've seen portrayed in the movie about the pentagon papers. how is it going to be received by the trump white house? >> to put it in context, glenn simpson is probably the reporter, i mean, he was a former newspaper reporter quite a well-respected one of good investigative reporter who spent more time that be any other reporter looking into donald trump's personal businesses, financial documents, basically doing opposition research because his firm was first paid for, paid by a republican aligned media company and then the democratic party and clinton. so you have a guy who didn't have subpoena powers who did his own research, who used a friend of his, the british spy we know
about this, christopher steele who did use sources in russia. so it's useful as a starting point and none of the allegations or suggestions that he makes in this have been verified, but if you take it as a starting point, it can then be taken by -- i'm actually less interested in the house committee and senate committee because they will be much less effective than mueller's team with serious financial investigators on the team with full subpoena powers and all the powers of that office, so i mean, i would be stunned based on the team that mueller has around him if they were looking at just these kinds of things that we're seeing that we saw in the testimony released today. >> yeah, to your point, i would further tell our audience, mr. simpson is hardly the first and won't be the last reporter to go into the business of research and intelligence because of the
common skill set required for both and the common sets of context. jill what stands out to you legally here. >> more the facts that really stand out to me. it is a dramatic piece of testimony that does show money laundering possibilities. it shows that what i've been saying from the beginning follow the money. there is certainly something suspicious about the money that came from russia and all the russians who were buying apartments in trump tower. one was running a gambling operation out of trump tower. these are things that need, as you've suggested, need to be corroborated and mueller is the person to do it because he does have the ability to use the grand jury and subpoenas that to get witnesses in and to see whether these are really accurate. legally, this could be the start of not just an obstruction case but of a collusion case, even though there is no such crime as collusion but conspiracy to work
with the russians to effect this election. it's dramatic. i only had the testimony for a short while but i can't wait to finish reading it. >> jeremy, along comes this story just because we needed a fresh angle on a thursday, i think. simpson also answers a question from jackie spear who is going to be our guest later in this broadcast about russia and the national rival association. mr. simpson says it appears the russians, you know, infiltrated the n.r.a. and there is more than one explanation for why but i would say broadly speaking, it appears that the russian operation was designed to infiltrate conservative organizations. further on top of that out of mcclatchy, we have this headline, fbi investigating whether russian money went to n.r.a. to help trump. jeremy, when you say n.r.a. and washington, you get the attention of a lot of elected representatives. won't this be interesting? >> it absolutely will be.
it would be a very shrewd way to launder money to donald trump's campaign to do it through the n.r.a. it would be illegal but if indeed these reports are true, they are incredibly alarming and i think overall when you look at this testimony, what's most significant about it is what it tells us about what robert mueller is likely looking at because if the house committee has this information, if the senate committee has this information, if glen simpson has this information, you can be guaranteed that robert mueller has this information. all along, the questions that have probably been the most likely damaging to donald trump are questions of money laundering. this idea of collusion, of course, collusion is not really a crime. there is nothing in the books that says it's illegal to collude with russia but where people have speculated trump was
most vulnerable was in his businesses and when you look at the transcript, you see these details just jump off the page like the number of trips that donald trump supposedly took to the former soviet union. the number of soviets that purchased trump properties and all point to a lot of red flags for investigators like bob mueller to be looking at. >> jonathan, we learned a lot today. i learned our friend major garrett hosted a pod cast in a very noisy place and his guest for this edition was trump attorney ty cobb. >> he likes these pod casts. it's unbelievable. >> maybe he likes the way he looks in headphones. >> is it from your vantage point a virtual certainty he will have some q and a with robert mueller? >> it's my belief.
>> do you think there is any danger for the president in that encounter? >> i would think a fair-minded office of special counsel would approach it in a dutiful way with president and wouldn't be a mere perjury trap. for the president, he's eager to sit down and explain whatever is responsive to the questions. >> very eager. >> very eager. >> i'm sure it's a great pod cast. i just don't understand when audio is everything, why you would host one from a by definition noisy place but that's just me. jonathan, the question to you, that was an interesting exchange and what are the odds that was signed off on by his client? >> i have to think that it was because it's a heck of a thing
to say. i mean, i was talking to somebody close to trump on the outside, somebody who speaks, spends a lot of time talking to the president and they said to me, there is no way trump will agree to an interview like this with mueller. mainly because of that reason, that all the opportunities and the pitfalls and risks for this. now, i'm not saying trump told them that. that sounded the way they were talking like they were speculating. i would find it shocking for ty cobb to put it out there without having fairly detailed conversations with his clients. we know that they have been gaming this out and preparing for the scenario, talking about whether they could do written q and as or whether it would be an inperson briefing. the risks for an inperson briefing are substantial and that phrase he used perjury trap is pretty telling because as we know, donald trump is not exactly precise in the way that he describes events.
he has been caught telling falsehoods on quite a substantial number of occasions. so i think ty cobb means the standard has to be very high. this is not a george papadopoulos situation. once you get to the top of the chain, it needs a high standard for the public to wear. >> to our only lawyer here and a damn good one, what kinds of perjury traps are we talking about here, jill? >> a lot. i would agree with what jonathan just said which is this isn't something that mueller is going to go after as a perjury trap. he's looking for substantive crimes. he's looking for whether there was money laundering, whether there was a conspiracy to interfere with the election. those are much more important. he's looking at obstruction of justice. those are the substantive crimes important to american democracy. it is a high risk whenever trump would be under oath because as has been noted, he has a loose connection to the truth. he frequently says things that are false and that you can prove
are false. i don't think that will be mueller's goal in doing this. >> jeremy, while not quite the dean atchison of our times, hope hicks was present at the creation. what do you read into her delay into the testimony? >> i don't know there is anything that much more significant to it than the issues that we've already raised here, which is that, you know, there is executive privilege being asserted by the executive, and he is -- the legal theory here goes that they are cooperating with bob mueller because bob mueller is part of the executive branch and therefore it's not a conflict as they see it. they are less eager to cooperate with the house and senate
investigations because that's a separate branch of government. i'm not a constitutional scholar. i don't know how that stands up, but i think it's going to be in the ccommittee's best interest t interview people who are going to talk to them and who are going to give up facts willingly and not hide behind some sort of legal privilege. >> boy, could we easily do an hour with this bunch. i know you have lives to pursue but thank you so much for starting us off and being our group one for this evening. jonathan swan, jeremy peters, jill winebanks. thanks. coming up on a thursday night, the house passes this short-term fix to keep the government open but the senate is a different matter and they are off duty for the night. new cracks in the relationship between the president and shall we say his current chief of
senator schumer, do not shut down the federal government. do not jeopardize funding for the military. do not jeopardizing funding for the children's health program. i ask the american people to understand this, the only people standing in the way of keeping the government open are senate democrats. whether there is a government shutdown or not is entirely up to them.
>> speaker of the house on the hill just a few hours ago after the house voted 230-197 along mostly party lines to pass a temporary funding bill to avert a government shutdown at midnight tomorrow night. that measure would fund the government at least until february 16th, your government at work. it moves to the senate. future is uncertain. they are adjourned. four republican senators said they will vote against the bill. if democrats sink together that's enough to sink it but where are we then? they added six years of funding for chip to this short-term deal but it does not include protections for d.r.e.a.m.e.r.s. this exchange on the senate floor reveals how far apart these two sides remain. >> so here is what we can do to solve the problem, we can solve it right now. the four leaders can sit down, it's been a lot of discussion and come to an agreement and do what the president said at one point. send it to his desk and he'll sign it.
we can get that done before the deadline of tomorrow night expires. >> the presidency under our constitutional system is not irrelevant. he signs things into law and for most of us in the house and senate on the republican side we're interested in what his views are and those have not been made fully apparent yet. >> second time in 24 hours mitch mcconnell has been asking in effect the president what would you like here and the white house role in this, contradictory confusing messages from the president with his profane quotes on immigrants last week, none of it helped. today the president made it apparent where he will lay the blame if the government shuts down.
>> [ indiscernible question ] >> it could happen. it up to the democrats. i really believe the democrats want to shut down to get off the subject of the tax cuts because they work so well. nobody thought, including the democrats, it would work this well. they have been so good, the democrats would like to see a shutdown to get off the subject. >> we have two terrific guests to talk about this tonight. anita kumar and we welcome to our broadcast phil elliott, political correspondent for "time." we shared a view saying you guys are all getting played, this is a reality television star who scheduled a 4:00 p.m. departure from the white house tomorrow. he doesn't want a government shutdown. he wants a crisis. he wants to be able to fly off to mar-a-lago on the one-year anniversary of his inauguration where the crowds were the largest ever, having solved this tomorrow night i understand we are of the same mind on that. >> i suspect we're talking to many of the same people, brian.
the thinking at the white house right now is that there will not be a government shutdown. they will find a dramatic rose ceremony in the rose garden by which this can be worked out and it comes back to the president as a deal maker shelling us on the one-yearsent to power, the r people voted for him to strike this amazing deal at the last minute there by taking a victory lap from the south lawn by marine one heading to his very successful club where tickets for his one-year anniversary gala. it's $100,000 per couple is what the price there at his private club are going for. >> anita, do democrats in the senate stick together question one and question two, how would you go about pinning this on the dems that don't control the
white house and senate? >> that will be tough. the american people will say republicans control the white house and commerce and congress will be hard. you know, the democrats are sticking together. you had played the clipper clipper earlier of the speaker saying this is about democrats. they don't have senate republicans on board. it's four or five senate republicans are not on board. they need all of these people to be on board. they are looking at some things. republicans on capitol hill say look, this isn't going to play well for democrats if the government shut downs down and it won't play well in states that president trump won that these democrats have to run in. they do think they have leverage. i think the democrats do stick together. they think this is their real shot to get something for the
d.r.e.a.m.e.r.s. >> how is that trump kelly relationship going right now? >> it's general kelly's time to be in the dog house. the president likes the churn, the drama of staff, discord. he thinks either it captures our imagination and distracts from governing and makes a compelling case that it makes everyone perform at their best game. i'm not sure i buy that but i'm not the president. it's a very difficult relationship right now between general kelly and the president. both allies to both men are talking to us trying to outline the ticktock of the comments and the fallout from them, perhaps suggesting that the president was not incredibly sincere or consistent with his belief about the border wall. the president this morning woke up, we woke up to the push alerts on twitter that the president was tweeting trying to under cut his chief of staff on this issue of the border wall at
just hours before the government was slated to shut down. a fight with your own team as you're trying to keep the government open is is not a good color for this president. >> it was notable, anita that trump said when he was read back kelly's quote said he didn't say that. he didn't say uninformed. just blankly. >> right. i mean, clearly he could not have liked that and you saw that he didn't like that. i thought what was interesting about what general kelly said was very small way, he kind of took credit for trump for president trump changing his views. sort of taking a little credit and that isn't something this president does not like. you know, he wants the spotlight but he also wants to take all the praise for anything that's happening. so he couldn't have liked that.
you know, i don't know that i buy that, you know, this is on the outs forever here. this say president that forgives pretty fast. he likes to -- the next day he's forgiven someone and they are back to talking again. he respects general kelly. they both talked about how they are in it for the long haul. i don't know we'll see a change. >> anita is a regular guest and phil elliott, we hope to convert you the same. thank you both for coming on on a thursday night. coming up for us, president trump on the road and mostly on message just outside pittsburgh when "the 11th hour" continues.
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pay nothing out-of-pocket. talk to your doctor and visit botox®cmsavings.com to enroll. at the center of america are the massive tax cuts that i just signed into law. and it's also reform but i usually just say tax cuts because that's what people -- they don't want to hear about the reform. the reform is important. we don't have to go into it. wow, we keep it like this, we will win a lot of elections, that i can tell you. >> for the most part, president trump stuck to the script in pennsylvania toting the success of the tax plan and extra money americans will see in their paychecks but friends at "the washington post" said the president's visit looked, sounded like a campaign stop with presidential praise for republican candidate rick sicone. they want to keep the seat with
concerns it could be very vulnerable. with us, ashley parker, white house reporter for "the washington post" and msnbc political analyst. she was at that rally in pennsylvania. ashley, we are asked to believe that this was not a political campaign visit, this was a white house visit when there are 435 congressional districts in this country. the president shows the one to visit today where there is a special election coming up in march. >> we are asked to believe that. that's what the white house was very vigorously insisting in the lead up to the visit that you could not call it a campaign stop and of course, this morning the president did what he often does, which is he sent out a tweet sort of first of all, saying exactly what he was
thinking in that moment but revealing the truth of the situation which is he said i'm headed to this district to throw my support behind rick saccone. he focused on the tax policy and tax bill and praised rick saccone on the tour and gave him a brief shoutout but didn't have the trademarks you would expect from a campaign rally. was it too cute? yes. was it actually a campaign rally, not necessarily. >> you were with mostly folks from the white house. i don't mean for this to sound inane but how does it feel to be around them these days post wolf book, mid russia scandal and with a looming possible shut down and showdown tomorrow night? >> sure, one thing i've been
hear income my reporting from people inside the white house and in phone calls, more so than the press pin today is that moral is incredibly low. in someway is there functioning at least publicly at a higher level than they were earlier in the administration when they were so ridden by chaos so public facing but i have been told privately things are just as bad and in terms of mood and how they are actually feeling in someways, it's even worse. >> were you at all surprised on how much the president stuck to his particulars? i want to read you a quote from chris matthews at the end of his broadcast tonight. he hit all the high notes, never a flat one and spread out the good news taking a gentle clip at the 2016 rifle without obvious nastiness. his pitch was uplifting, all the flags flying, i'm trying to think of a democratic rival that could match the performance close quote.
that was from chris matthews tonight. do you concur? >> to sort of answer your first question if i'm being honest. i was a bit surprise the president stuck to script coming off this morning where he sent out a number of tweets that undermined his chief of staff that undermined the house republican plan to fund the government, the undermine the idea that this was not a campaign rally and then he was quite disciplined speaking from te teleprompter. i'll say two things, first of all, he made the appeal chris mentioned, he called out the forgotten men and women of america. it was very striking. it was exactly the right note for that district, but one thick we've also learned about this president, he needs a release valve. in someways he was off script inspect morning with tweets, you might expect him to be off script with the rally but if you followed him for awhile, the morning tweets and raging was his release. so by the time he got to the
rally, he got out of his system, it seemed like he reconciled privately with general kelly and able to stay on script. >> ashley parker, always superb tonight, just off a flight home from pittsburgh to washington. we appreciate it, ashley, thank you very much. when we come back, why all eyes are back on congress right now. when i received the diagnosis, i knew at that exact moment, whatever it takes, wherever i have to go...i'm beating this. my main focus was to find a team of doctors that work together. when a patient comes to ctca, they're meeting a team of physicians that specialize in the management of cancer. breast cancer treatment is continuing to evolve. and i would say that ctca
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let's remember we're just under 24 hours before a government shutdown. we brought in two washington veterans to help make sense of it. former under secretary of state and public affairs and former managing of "time magazine" just across the street here and editor at large of the weekly standard. gentlemen, we'll come to you both. bill crystal gets the tweet of the day. i'm going to read it to you and have you explain it. bill wrote, who among us hasn't created a delaware llc to pay an
adult film star hush money? i don't know why, but we have not done this story yet. tell the good folks what you're talking about. >> well, donald trump's lawyer in october of 2016, what, about three weeks before the election seems to have created a delaware llc to pay the porn star who apparently had a relationship with donald trump a few years before $130,000. they denied that but there is a lot of reporting to confirm that. "the washington post" is the newspaper leading this. >> among other organizations -- >> and in another year, that would have been a big story that three weeks before an election, they set up a lawyer a private lawyer sets up a firm to pay hush money to a porn star. i don't know. that's nothing. in donald trump's america that's just story -- >> what does this say about our times? >> nothing good.
nothing good. >> to the line defining down low, one thing would catapult anybody, doesn't harm him. forget about the hush payment we didn't know about. the tape of where he's boasting about sexual assault, that should in any other time have been a disqualifying remark. >> that would have gotten your attention in normal times, yeah. i got something for you to react to. this is is from ""vanity fair" on rex tillerson and the president's twitter account. he says the challenge is just getting caught up because i don't even have a twitter account that i can follow what he's tweeting. this is the secretary of state. so my staff usually has to print his tweets out and hand them to me tillerson told rice and the secretary asks himself how do we take that and now use it? in other words, how does that become policy. are you surprised at this? >> i'm not, actually. i'm not even outraged by it.
i think by the way, the secretary does indeed have a twitter account. there is a twitter handle for the secretary of state. >> not like party girl 99 or something. >> exactly or delaware llc stormy weather. so i actually think the problem is not tillerson. tillerson is trying to do his job and saying well, the president is making policy on social media, i need to follow it or, you know, to figure out what i need to do. the problem is trump is making policy on twitter, which is without using the intelligence services, without using the state department. that's the problem. i think tillerson is just doing his job. >> bill crystal, let's think about a u.s. park service ranger working the night shift in blowing snow at glaciers national park before i say this. government shutdowns are what people hate about government and washington. and if this is going to happen,
how do you really with the white house, house and senate controlled by republicans, how do you pen it on the dems? >> it's hard unless you have a party line vote and democrats voted to close it but looks like mcconnell may have lost senators that would make that impossible. i think donald trump asked himself the same questions you just asked and trump doesn't like to get blame for the things. he turns against republicans and democrats. if there is a shut down tomorrow night, what does donald trump say? this is the problem with washington. i tried to fix it but the guys on the hill are stopping me. mcconnell, you're as bad as schumer. it's a chance for him, it's a bad thing to shut down and i do think it's bad for the republican party but if you're trump, you take advantage of the drama or try to and try to liberate yourself in a certain way. he's always been independent at heart. that might be his attempt. doesn't solve the problem but might try -- that's trump's way
of trying to deflect the blame. >> the schedule is posted tomorrow that shows him departing from mar-a-lago just after 4:00 p.m. >> to go along with what bill said. nobody wins in a shut down. everybody loses. it's just some people lose more than others. he'll try to try triorange --. last the looked congressional popularity is 14%. >> do you think he cancels the trip at 4:00 p.m.? who does he sell out? the hard liners and immigration that agreed to a deal? does he -- >> i think he's got a golf game on saturday morning. >> he'll like the drama, trump late night at the white house. >> this is the state of our republic, ladies and gentlemen. those of you at home join me in thanking two gentlemen, we always welcome to this studio because they always contribute
we since reported that her appearance has been delayed. is it at all linked with steve bannon and potentially another bannon appearance and as another part of that question, what would you like to know from hope hicks? >> well, first of all, i can't confirm whether or not hope hicks was the person that was scheduled to be interviewed tomorrow, but in fact, that has been cancelled, and what we have seen this week is a gag order that started the week from the white house and then the end of the week actually postponing all together our opportunity to interview one of the persons that was within the close circle of the president. >> how do you play this? especially for democrats on the committee, though your committee is where people were joking this week that by some have frankly called the mueller investigation the priority in this case?
>> there's no question that the mueller investigation is the priority. they're looking at criminal conduct. our job is to determine whether or not the russian interference in our election was deep enough that it created a relationship with the trump cam pan and furthermore to determine whether or not our election system is so porous that it could be hijacked by the russians. so i would say that the bipartisanship in our committee is probably at its lowest ebb and i deeply regret having to say that, but it has become very, very difficult. in part i think because the white house is trying to pull the strings. >> were these reports overblown that republicans joined the democrats in their outrage at bannon's refusal to go there in
so many questions? >> so steve bannon did not respond to the questions because he was told by the white house he could not respond. and i actually think that because he's persona non-grata, they've thrown him under the bus and did not protect him like they have the other trump persons. >> let me ask the follow-up, which is are you confident he will enjoy none of those protections when he is talked to by the mueller team? >> without a doubt. there is no ability for the president to invoke executive privilege. frankly, he doesn't have the authority to invoke it under the circumstances in which he has attempted to pull the strings here.
you either have the ability to invoke it because it's national security or because it's in the public interest to keep it private, neither of which apply in this situation. >> the president, and we apologize for the vote buzzer going on behind you, some things are unavoidable. the president said today "the dems will take the blame if there's a shutdown." how do you avoid that, aside from the fact that you don't control the white house, house or senate? >> so you're right. the house, the senate, the presidency controlled by the republicans, they should have no trouble passing a c.r. i would suggest that's what happened is you have fraction among those in the republican party that is making it more difficult. a clean c.r. will pass the house and the senate and there will be
no shutdown. that's precisely what we need to do in the next 24 hours. >> finally, a topic very important to you, especially for those of you who watched and won't be able to forget your dramatic first-person testimony a few weeks back. tell us what you introduced today to make for a better workplace among members and staff on capitol hill? >> so, brian, this is a great news story because this is an example of where democrats and republicans worked together. we have introduced a comprehensive reform of our process here in congress. it will no longer have mandatory mediation, no longer have the cooling off period, allow the victims, complainants to be represented by counsel, paid for by the house or senate and finally require all members who are found to have sexually harassed to pay back the federal government and if they don't have the resources to do it in a lump sum, they will have their wages garnished or their thrift plans or finally their social security. >> five term democrat from the state of california, congresswoman jackie speier,
last thing before we go here tonight. how about something on a different subject entirely and from a city other than washington or knock for a change. would you believe there's an idea being floated for a second hollywood sign? let explain. the problem is the popularity of the current and only hollywood sign, easily the most photographed sign in these united states when you think about it. it's been up there on that hillside since 1923 when it was first used as an ad for what happened to be a segregated housing development called hollywood land. it's always been a popular back dropped but what's changed here is the fact that we all now carry devices that are also cameras. selfies have only been a thing, when you think about it, for about ten years.
but the unbrideled desire for the perfect selfie is clogging the roads and the neighbors that are below and across from that sign. there are two approved viewing platforms, but that doesn't stop anybody, including 40-plus tour operators from trying to get that better shot. so the city of los angeles did what cities do and commissioned a study by a consulting firm. they came back with a lot of ideas including a shuttle bus, a tram and a visitor's center but here's the idea that got everybody's attention, building a second hollywood sign on the other side overlooking the san fernando valley and places like warner brothers and our own universal studios. they do admit it would make the original and only hollywood sign less special, but back to that congestion problem, as one person put it, "the hollywood sign is being loved to death." and that's it for our broadcast tonight.
good night from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. we're less than 24 hours away from a government shutdown and the blame game on capitol hill is heating up. this morning, a spending bill battle could play out in the senate. plus, president trump in pennsylvania for what the white house billed as an economic event, but it looked like an early jump on 2020. and is there a rift in the white house? the president praises his chief of staff john kelly after a public clash on immigration. good morning, everybody. it is friday, january 19th.